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CNS Spectr. 2005 Oct;10(10):800-5.

Lamotrigine augmentation strategy for patients with treatment-resistant depression.

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PsyCare, Inc, Poway, CA 92064, USA.



To investigate if lamotrigine added to an antidepressant regimen reduces the symptoms of major depression in treatment-resistant patients.


Charts were retrospectively reviewed for 34 patients (36-63 years of age) with major depressive disorder who received lamotrigine augmentation to the antidepressant regimen for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Data collection occurred at baseline and at an average of 30 (Time 2), 78 (Time 3), 167 (Time 6), and 356 days (Time 12), thereafter, using a "Medication Visit by MD" scale for collection of target symptom data at each timepoint.


Following the addition of lamotrigine to the antidepressant regimen (mean dose of 43, 63, and 113 mg/day for Time 3, Time 6, and Time 12, respectively), a statistically significant reduction of scores was shown as early as Time 2 for target symptoms of depressed mood, loss of interest, anxiety, irritability, (low) energy, and cognitive impairment. The difference from baseline remained statistically significant at Time 3, Time 6, and Time 12 (with the exception of irritability, which was not statistically significant at Time 6). "Patient's response" also reflected statistically significant improvement at each time period compared with baseline. The most common side effect reported and reason for discontinuation was tiredness.


Because TRD is a clinical condition that can present with severe and disabling symptoms, many clinicians are faced with an urgent need to find relief for their patients. Trying to achieve symptom improvement in a timely manner during a medication change can be challenging and difficult. This can be managed by an augmentation strategy using a psychotropic add-on to an existing medication regimen. Our results show the benefits of lamotrigine augmentation to an antidepressant regimen. Prospective, controlled clinical trials with larger sample size are needed to confirm our results.


In this retrospective chart review, augmentation with lamotrigine was a tolerable and efficacious strategy for treating patients with TRD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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